This chapel stood on the east side of St Mary’s Road, close to “Six Dials,” where St Mary’s Road, St Mark’s Road, Northam Road, St Mary Street, New Road and St Andrew’s Road met. Originally standing between 134 and 135 St Mary’s Road, a later renumbering gives a final address as 168 St Mary’s Road. The site is now under the 1970s Six Dials junction.
Built as the Victoria Gospel Hall for Henry Lyon, a musician and street preacher, to “bring together a class of persons not in the habit of attending places of worship, and by a system of Christian fellowship to show them that an interest is taken in their welfare.” (Hampshire Independent 8 May 1867), the foundation stone was laid 18 December 1866, and it was opened 1 May 1867, when the speakers included Mr William Carter “the theatre preacher,” and Ned Wright “the converted burglar.” It was built by G White, of Brinton’s Terrace, from designs by Mr McGann, with room for a congregation of 400. Mr Lyon lived in a house behind the chapel, at 2 St Mark’s Road, called Peniel House.
By 1874, the chapel was being offered “on easy terms” to the Bible Christians, a branch of Methodism that later became part of the United Methodist Church. They met in the Jubilee Chapel, Princess Street, just off Melbourne Street, down by the railway line, and the new building offered a more prominent position. A review of chapels in the Southampton and Eastleigh Circuit of the United Methodist Church, made on the eve of Methodist Union, says that “the history of the church at St Mary’s Road has been very chequered, and on the whole disappointing. The building is badly constructed, the schoolroom, underneath the chapel, very dark and damp, and the the general facilities for church work quite inadequate.”
The church was sold on Methodist Union in 1934. It was the Connaught Hall in 1939, and SPQR Furnishing Stores (Connaught Hall), in 1946. SPQR apparently stood for “small profits, quick returns.”

St Mary's Road United Methodist Chapel

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From the Southampton Times, 11 April 1912.


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